As you might have gathered from some of my other posts, I had Lymes Disease for seven years. I got very sick, especially towards the end. I could go seven or eight nights without sleeping day or night. I barely slept through the night for four years. I had arthritis all over my body and was in constant pain. I had soars inside of my mouth and on my face, and sometimes I would spit blood. I had to take a year off of work. I lost 35 pounds in less than two months. My best friend has told me that she would sometimes cry when I left her house because she thought I might die. It was incredibly hard.
This was one of the most difficult seasons of my life to be single. I wanted a companion with me, someone who could care about finding a way for me to get better simply so I could rest. Someone who could hold me at night and tell me it was going to be okay. I wondered if I could ever have that, if anyone would ever love me enough to take on such a huge burden.
I remember coming home from a doctor’s appointment in which he had let me know how serious my disease was. He told me that if I didn’t get better I could pass it on to my children. I wondered if I should just opt out of having a family now. I wouldn’t want them to have to live through this. He also told me that with Lyme, my symptoms would probably get worse for the rest of my life.
I stood in my living room after that doctors appointment, my purse and coat still on, overwhelmed with the weight of responsibility on my shoulders. I was the only one in my life who could get help for this. I was so sick that I could barely walk into a grocery store, and yet I was expected to do the hard work of finding a cure to a supposedly incurable disease. (I did the hard work, and I am now cured, by the way.) I had no insurance and probably could not get insurance with the record I now had. I couldn’t work, and the government would not give me disability as Lyme is not a very recognized disease. It was terrifying. I felt utterly alone.
The AA Big Book says “When we were faced with a crisis that we could no longer postpone or evade, we had to fearlessly face the proposition that either God is everything or else He is nothing. Choose.”
I was in my crisis and It was time for me to choose. Was God everything or nothing to me?
One night I had a dream. I was riding up an elevator and the doors opened to a hospital waiting room. A middle aged man who was slightly overweight with the kindest face you have ever seen came up and gave me a big bear hug. I had the distinct impression that we had started out as pen pals, and over the years we had become very close. He was so happy to see me.
I said “how is she doing?” He replied, “She is not well.” He had so much concern in His face. I could tell that he loved her with a very pure love.
It was then that realized that the “she” we were talking about was me. The sick version of me. Suddenly, I was the sick me, in my hospital bed. I was in and out of a coma, and I was very very ill.
Every single time I woke up, this man was there. Reading to me, doing crossword puzzles, holding my hand. Sometimes I would wake up and he would be eating in the room. He never left my side. Most of the time, I was too sick to say anything. I would just look and see him there and know that I wasn’t alone. Then I would fall back into another coma.
Sometimes, he would pick me up and put me into my wheelchair. There was a huge outdoor garden on my floor in the hospital, and he would bring me to look at all the beautiful plants and flowers. He would touch them tenderly and tell me their names and about how they grew. He would take my weak hand and bring them up to the flowers. First a stunning red amaryllis, then a delicate white orchid, then a big purple iris. I could feel the softness of the petals on my fingers.
He would take me back to my room, lift me out of my wheelchair and into my bed, and I would fall back to sleep as he knelt there, praying.
When I woke up from the dream I realized that the man was not a future husband or a father or a friend. This was Jesus.
Our God has many facets. Sometimes He is riding on a horse with stars in His right hand and a sword coming from His mouth, His face shining like the sun.
And sometimes, He is a middle aged, kind man who reads to us when we are in the hospital. He is the one who kneels down and prays for us by our sick bed. He is the one who does not leave our side.
This dream helped me to remember that I was everything to Him. That made my choice simple.
He would be everything to me.
That dream helped me realize that even though I felt alone, I was really never alone at all.
Years ago, I wrote a song called You Are Not Alone. Here are the words:
Sometimes you get so weary that you run to forget
Keep yourself so busy, anything to cover up that sometimes life just don’t make sense
And the reason for your running is a longing to be known
By someone who says your life is worth it, someone captured by your heart- someone you gave up on long ago
But you are not alone- you are not alone-His love is all around- He holds you even now-You are not alone
He will not leave you orphaned- that’s a promise He has made
When others leave you empty and the world has left you broken, still He will not walk away
So come and lay down all your questions- lay down your striving to be free
He has loved you since you’ve breathed and He will love you for forever- really what more do you need?
You are not alone-You are not alone-His love is all around and He holds you even now-You are not alone.